February 20, 2005


What We Don't Know About 9/11 Hurts Us (Robert Scheer, February 15, 2005, LA Times)

Had the business-friendly administration put safety first and ordered a full complement of air marshals into the air, over the obscene objections of airlines loath to give up paid seats, nearly 3,000 people might not have died that day. And had the president of the United States taken some time from his epic ranch vacation that August to order a nationwide airport alert, two bloody wars abroad, as well as an all-out assault on civil liberties in this country, probably would not have happened.

It's always useful to check such attackjs against reality. For instance, here's the reaction to even a post-911 security fee hike:
Senate Turbulence Greets Plan to Raise Airline Ticket Security Fees (Sara Kehaulani Goo, February 16, 2005, Washington Post)
15 Groups Protest Budget Proposal to Double Aviation Security Taxes (securityInfoWatch)
Fifteen leading airline, business and labor groups today urged Congress to reject a federal budget proposal that would double aviation security taxes, costing travelers and U.S. carriers $1.5 billion.

Groups opposing the new security tax include the AFL-CIO's Transportation Trades Department, Air Line Pilots Association, Air Transport Association, Air Travelers Association, Americans for Tax Reform, Cargo Airline Association, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Gerchick-Murphy Associates, Interactive Travel Services Association, J. Dunham and Associates, National Business Travel Association, National Taxpayers Union, Regional Airline Association, Travel Business Roundtable, and Travel Industry Association of America.

Even knowing what the threat is we aren't willing to pay for security nor be inconvenienced much by it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2005 9:31 AM

It doesn't take much imagination to guess at another Scheer headline: "Profiling is Back - Bush/Ashcroft Will Ban Muslims from all US Travel - No Specific Warning Offered". Scheer is as bad as Dowdy, but he sneers better. And he is a better girly-man, too.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 20, 2005 10:46 AM

is there really any value to be gained from posting a robert scheer "article" ? does anyone here read them, and if so, why ?

to expect the same process to produce different results is irrational, but keep hitting the food-bar if you like (you never know when randomness might intrude)

Posted by: cjm at February 20, 2005 12:29 PM

You are all barking up the wrong tree.

All we had to do was change our approach to dealing with hijackings from a negotiate-with-terrorists stance to its opposite.

Overtly installing reinforced flight deck doors, and , less explicitly, re-training pilots to land at the nearest suitable airport and disable the airplane, regardless of the mayhem in back, would have made the suicide attacks impossible.

It would have neutralized the threat, and with completely negligible costs.

Unfortunately, we had to lose 3000 before doing what we should have been doing all along.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at February 20, 2005 12:52 PM

Jeff: true, and would have shifted AQ's planning from airliners to some other mode of attack, or some other arena for hostage-taking, maybe a school or shopping mall. The threat isn't airline hijackings per se, they're just one tactic. With that said, now that you're back in the air, are you satisfied with security; and if not, what's still out there that's doable and cost-effective?

Posted by: joe shropshire at February 20, 2005 1:19 PM

These snippets of Scheer serve a prupose— to remind people how depraved the Left truly is. Is there anyone who honestly believes that if Bush had done anything prior to 11 September, that Scheer would not have led the attacks agaisnt him? If Bush tried to implement Scheer's list of deterents even today, Scheer would be leading the attacks as they're being "draconian violations of civil rights" or "racial profiling" or whatever catchphrase he thinks would work best.

To call this sort of thing hypocrisy is to is to insult the Scheers of the world by minimizing their audacity.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 20, 2005 2:18 PM


At what point did we verifiably know that there was going to be an air attack. And just how were we to guard against one given the number of flights into and out of NYC on any given day. If we were to enact all the safety nostrums suggested after the flight into the WTC before there was a 9/11 to sharpen the mind as to what was possible, what makes you think the people would agree to them and put up with them without attacking those enacting them and just who do you think would be ensuring that they were applied. You are trying to work a post 9/11 answer to a pre 9/11 position and it just would not happen. The ACLU for one would be in court in the 9th Circuit within the hour if Congress tried to enact such a measure.

Posted by: dick at February 20, 2005 7:37 PM